Bumgarner diagnosed with Grade 2 shoulder sprain, not expected back before break

Bumgarner diagnosed with Grade 2 shoulder sprain, not expected back before break

SAN FRANCISCO -- One of the most important men in the Giants organization over the next two months won't be seen on the field. Madison Bumgarner has been turned over to Tony Reale, the team's physical therapist, for the start of his rehab from a dirt bike accident. The process kicked off Friday, and a week after they first announced the injury, the Giants provided additional details. 

Trainer Dave Groeschner said Bumgarner has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 left shoulder sprain, which means there are partial tears in his shoulder. The diagnosis was not a surprise, and neither is the timetable. Bumgarner is expected to need two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he's big league-ready. If all goes according to plan, he will return to the rotation right after the All-Star break, although the early rehab process will determine if the timetable can be moved up a bit or if it has to be pushed back. 

The medical process is led by Dr. Ken Akizuki, the team's orthopedist, but outside specialists were consulted. Dr. Tim McAdams, the team doctor for the 49ers, saw Bumgarner and his test results were sent to Dr. James Andrews, the most famous name in the field, and Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed Will Smith's Tommy John surgery. All of the doctors agreed that Bumgarner does not need surgery. 

"That's nice to hear," Groeschner said. "It's nice when everyone is in agreement. Now we'll put a plan in place and work on the rehab and get him back. Bum is a very conscientious person. We feel good about the fact that if we’re going to ask him to do something (to rehab), he’s going to do it.”

The Giants are confident Bumgarner will attack the rehab process. He has been diligent in the opening days about icing and getting treatment. They also are confident that the injury will not hamper his unique delivery, although more will be known as he gets closer to throwing. 

In the meantime, Ty Blach will take his second turn in Bumgarner's spot on Sunday. 

Bumgarner: 'It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made'

Bumgarner: 'It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made'

SAN FRANCISCO — Riding horses has always been part of Madison Bumgarner’s legacy, but there are times where his ride back home in North Carolina doesn’t have four legs. Bumgarner has been riding dirt bikes his whole life without incident, but a crash last week has left him facing a season of uncertainty.

Bumgarner addressed the media Monday, four days after an accident in the hills near Denver. He said he does not have a timetable for his return. The Giants have ordered more tests and expect to have a more concrete schedule by Tuesday or Wednesday. For now they are leaning on possibilities they hope to cross off. 

Bumgarner does not anticipate having surgery to repair a left shoulder sprain. He does not think this is a season-ending injury. 

“It’s hard to put a timetable on it, but I would certainly be disappointed if I wasn’t (back this season),” he said. “The only thing I’m putting my focus on now is busting my butt to rehab and make sure I’m back with the team.”

For now, that means rest and ice, and Bumgarner was scheduled to have another MRI on Monday. The Giants believe his shoulder is relatively sound structurally, and the consensus is that Bumgarner is lucky this wasn’t worse. He said the bike, a rental during the team’s off day, was similar to ones he has been on in the past. He was hours into a ride with two family members when he went down on dirt.

“I was actually being pretty safe the whole time,” Bumgarner said. “It was just a freak deal. We were on the way out, almost back to the truck … I wish I had some kind of cool story that it was some kind of crazy wreck. It wasn’t anything spectacular.”

Bumgarner has spoken to most of his teammates individually and in small groups. He understands that this is a bad look, and it’s a blow the Giants can’t afford. 

“It’s terrible. It’s obviously not my intention when I set out to enjoy the off day,” he said. “I realize it’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made. It sucks not being out here with the guys.”

The Giants came home with a 6-13 record, and it was 6-10 the day Bumgarner got hurt. A night before, he had once again received no run support. Bumgarner is 0-4, but he said this was not a case of “blowing off steam” on a day off. It also is not a normal off-day activity for him, and it is not allowed under Bumgarner’s contract. 

That won’t be an issue, however. There has been no talk of punishing Bumgarner, and any attempt to get back money would be a short-sighted move by the organization. Bumgarner is vastly underpaid by today’s baseball standards, and the Giants hope to negotiate a long-term extension in the years to come. 

That deal will hinge largely on how Bumgarner recovers. The Giants cannot say for sure that Bumgarner will return as the same pitcher, because he already has a unique delivery that puts pressure on the shoulder. Trainer Dave Groeschner did not want to set expectations one way or the other, but he conceded that Bumgarner will be out “a little while.” At the very least, Bumgarner is looking at another week or two in the sling, and whenever he is cleared to throw, he will basically start his season from scratch. 

“We’ll get him back throwing, but you’ve got to build him up to 100 pitches,” Groeschner said. “That takes time in itself."

Bumgarner has built up a reservoir of goodwill over the years, allowing this lengthy process to go down a bit easier. On top of what he had accomplished before Thursday, Bumgarner pleased team officials by being forthright. He knew something was wrong, and when he returned to the team hotel in Denver he immediately called Groeschner and admitted to what he had done. Other players — including Giants — have gotten caught in lies about injuries. 

“That’s not who I am,” Bumgarner said. “If you’re going to do stuff like that, you’e got to be honest.”

Giants notes: Pence misses a day; update on Bumgarner's injury

Giants notes: Pence misses a day; update on Bumgarner's injury

DENVER — Madison Bumgarner won’t address his situation until Monday at the earliest, but he did stop by Coors Field on Friday to see coaches and teammates and get treatment for his wounds. 

Bumgarner is in a sling but he isn’t having trouble moving around, manager Bruce Bochy said. He’ll fly back with the team Sunday and get checked by team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki on Monday. After that visit, the team will have a better idea of a timetable for Bumgarner’s return. 

Bochy said that as far as he knows, surgery is not being discussed. While meeting with Bumgarner on Friday, the left-hander reiterated that this all could have been much worse than bruised ribs and a shoulder sprain. 

“He’s made reference to that, that he probably was a little lucky,” said Bochy, who crashed a motorcycle in 2001 and was on crutches for six weeks. 

The Giants were without another key player Saturday, but it won’t be a long-term thing. Right fielder Hunter Pence has a bruise behind his left knee after an awkward fall Friday night, but he felt like he could play Saturday. With a night game followed by a day game, Bochy elected to hold Pence out for left-hander Kyle Freeland on Sunday. He’s available off the bench Saturday. 

“It’s good, it’s fine,” Pence said of his knee. “They wanted to give it a day of rest.”

With Pence out, the Giants turn to one of their weakest outfield groups in years. There’s no way to sugarcoat this one: tonight’s starting outfielders have combined to hit .150 this season. 

--- Brandon Crawford will miss three days next week for the funeral of his sister-in-law. Crawford will go on the bereavement list so the Giants can call up a replacement. Given the look on Bochy’s face when a reporter mentioned Christian Arroyo, it won’t be Arroyo. Kelby Tomlinson would be the smart bet.

--- Hunter Strickland did his best to cheer up a group that has taken a few body blows lately. He walked in the clubhouse with a fresh mullet, complete with a couple of stripes on one side. It was actually a pretty solid look. “If it’s not working, change it up,” he said, smiling. 

The clubhouse certainly enjoyed the haircut. One player yelled “Joe Dirt!” when Strickland walked past.